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Wagner College, New York, Musical Theater University of Rhode Island, Music
Talent America: first place winner for vocals Tony Grant Stars of Tommorrow Show, Atlantic City ,NJ Junior Miss Contestant , Pennsylvania
Singing has brought great joy to my life. From a young age my family and teachers encouraged me to overcome my inhibitions of singing so as to express my feelings through song. I began voice lessons at the age of seven with Verna Rantz, of Quakertown, Pa.. Verna had obtained her classical training at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and performed in the New York Metropolitan Opera company. Peggy March and John Oates were just a few of her students who made their claim to fame.
My public performances began in nursing homes, local festivals and recitals. I also began studying with the famous composer, arranger, Russell Faith at Newtown School of Music. I took his advice to work under the Jarred Talent agency of N.Y. as did a fellow student, Andrea McArdle, who played the lead role in the Broadway musical Annie. I auditioned for TV commercial, musicals, beauty pageants and attended performance workshops in New York.
As a young teen, I performed on the Tony Grant, Stars of Tomorrow show in Atlantic City, N.J. every summer. I also competed in the Talent America competition, winning first place in the teen vocal division. All through my school years, I actively participated in my church and school choir which I feel helped develop the discipline needed for pitch and rhythm synchronization within a group.
While attending Palisades High School, I landed roles in the musicals. Some of the highlights included Ado Annie in Oklahoma and the soloist for “Get all Excited” in Godspell. I also participated in local theater groups in Pennsylvania such as Civil Theater in Allentown, Pennsylvania Playhouse in Bethlehem and The Barn Playhouse in Norristown, Pa..
This experience prepared me for my next adventure; auditioning for Wagner College in New York as a theater major. I was accepted into the Wagner program and began an intensive year of study and performance working with Broadway professionals. The shows included Carnival and My Fair Lady. I enjoyed it very much but decided to transfer to the University of Rhode Island for music, specializing in voice training.
My professional singing career began years later while I was living in Greece. I joined a band of teachers from the Music Conservatory of Kalamata and began performing as a jazz soloist in international hotels, festivals and state funded performances promoting culture and tourism. I also developed my own innovative musical English program in which to teach young children English.
I returned to the states five years ago and have been teaching voices lessons and directing my church choir. I am presently the lead vocalist performing with the band Waterfront Blue. We play at local venues and events in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I also perform, record and collaborate with 8 time Grammy nominee and master guitarist, Dr. Frank DiBussolo. Recent appearances with Frank have been at The Allentown Symphony Hall and The Pennsylvania Jazz Collective festival. Still to this day, I feel the exhilaration and sense of accomplishment after each performance. Teaching voice lessons is my way of sharing the experience and skills I've acquired with my students. It's so rewarding to help them make their dreams come true.
After college and marrying, I spent several years in Greece raising my daughters. There, I launched a career in teaching English. My students ranged in age from 3 years old to 65. My musical backround made the lessons fun. I helped organize concerts, musicals and performed with bands. I also welled with pride in watching my daughters participate in these events. . In my three years back in the states, I have continued to teach vocal students how to sing with ease and confidence.There is no perfect voice. We all have our individuality and style. We just need to discover it, develop it and use it to its fullest potential.
My methods are practical and simple based on classical voice training. Each and every lesson is customized to suit the students needs at every level. I stress the importance of breathing, vowel placement and pronunciation. I utilize technology to provide lyrics, backing track accompniament and inspiring videos.Students love using vocal training apps which give a score like playing a video game.After teaching the basics in my own creative lesson plans for either child or adult, I use a series of vocal training course books from Berkley College of Music.
It is opportunities like this that make teaching so rewarding; One of my private voice students, a ten year old boy visiting from London for the summer, claimed it was the 6 weeks of lessons which helped him get a call back for the lead role of Oliver in a West End musical performance. Students overcome stage fright and sing in front of an audience or audition for a show. Students learn valuable skills,time management and start an enjoyable hobby for life.
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